My Guiding spirit has finally been broken. I am at that point in my life that I need to say enough is enough and walk away.
For the past 9 years I have been Brown Owl - at times very rewarding and at others a very thankless task.
I have met some fantastic people and am proud to say that some of them have become very good friends - there are many experiences in my life that I would not have had, had it not been for Guiding.
I thought about stepping down about 18 months ago, just before I started my prescribing course, but another long-standing leader beat me to it. Since then I have only gone through the motions and now feel that it is starting to show to the girls.
I am tired - I am the only leader who turns up week after week, the others rotate through. Barn Owl has offered to cover me at times when she has seen how down I am, but I feel guilty asking her to do so, as she is busy running her Ranger unit by default and she never has any other help!
My house has cupboard, after cupboard full of brownie stuff - boxes of left over craft, cupboards of just stuff! I want my house back, I want my life back, I want someone else to take over the responsibility of running the unit.
Work hasn't helped in that I seem to be working 14 hour days at the moment and at least 5 hours each Saturday - and no there is no overtime as its the NHS and we're broke!
This time last year, we were trying to deal with the sudden death of one of our fellow Guiders - it was not her time to go, how can life be so cruel? The past couple of weeks, has seen me thinking about her a lot and maybe this hasn't helped with how I am feeling in general, but I know now is the time to say goodbye.
I hope that I will return to Guiding sometime in the future, I just know that if I don't walk away now, I will come to hate Guiding and will never return.
I have challenges for the New Year - my weight loss has never really got going, so I have persuaded a group of Guiders to help me complete the half Moonwalk in May - it's meant to be 13 miles, but because it's a new route this year, we will have to do 15 instead!! There will be 5 of us walking that night so we will have fun whatever!
So , when I finalise the program for the coming term, the email that will go out to the other leaders will also say that my last night will be the 17th March - light the touch paper and stand back - how many of the other leaders will stay? Who will step up and run the unit? It will become interesting I can tell you!